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Cytokine profiles amongst Sudanese patients with visceral leishmaniasis and malaria co-infections

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van den Bogaart, Erika, Talha, Al-Badawi A, Straetemans, Masja, Mens, Pètra F, Adams, Emily ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0816-2835, Grobusch, Martin P, Nour, Bakri Y M and Schallig, Henk D F H (2014) 'Cytokine profiles amongst Sudanese patients with visceral leishmaniasis and malaria co-infections'. BMC Immunology, Vol 15, e16.

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Abstract

Background

The immune system plays a critical role in the development of co-infections, promoting or preventing establishment of multiple infections and shaping the outcome of pathogen-host interactions. Its ability to mediate the interplay between visceral leishmaniasis (VL) and malaria has been suggested, but poorly documented. The present study investigated whether concomitant infection with Leishmania donovani complex and Plasmodium falciparum in naturally co-infected patients altered the immunological response elicited by the two pathogens individually.

Results

Circulating levels of interferon (IFN)-γ, interleukin (IL)-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, IL-12p70, IL-13, IL-17A and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) were assessed in sera of patients infected with active VL and/or malaria and healthy individuals from Gedarif State, Sudan. Comparative analysis of cytokine profiles from co- and mono-infected patients highlighted significant differences in the immune response mounted upon co-infection, confirming the ability of L. donovani and P. falciparum to mutually interact at the immunological level. Progressive polarization towards type-1 and pro-inflammatory cytokine patterns characterized the co-infected patients, whose response partly reflected the effect elicited by VL (IFN-γ, TNF) and malaria (IL-2, IL-13), and partly resulted from a synergistic interaction of the two diseases upon each other (IL-17A). Significantly reduced levels of P. falciparum parasitaemia (P <0.01) were detected in the co-infected group as opposed to the malaria-only patients, suggesting either a protective or a non-detrimental effect of the co-infection against P. falciparum infection.

Conclusions

These findings suggest that a new immunological scenario may occur when L. donovani and P. falciparum co-infect the same patient, with potential implications on the course and resolution of these diseases.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2172/15/16
Subjects: QW Microbiology and Immunology > Reference Works. General Immunology > QW 520 Research (General)
QW Microbiology and Immunology > Immunity by Type > QW 568 Cellular immunity. Immunologic cytotoxicity. Immunocompetence. Immunologic factors (General)
WC Communicable Diseases > Tropical and Parasitic Diseases > WC 715 Visceral leishmaniasis
WC Communicable Diseases > Tropical and Parasitic Diseases > WC 750 Malaria
Faculty: Department: Biological Sciences > Department of Tropical Disease Biology
Digital Object Identifer (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2172-15-16
Depositing User: Lynn Roberts-Maloney
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2015 10:19
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2018 10:32
URI: http://archive.lstmed.ac.uk/id/eprint/5090

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